VISIONS OF ATLANTIS – Wanderers [Digipak +2] (2019)
With their new album “Wanderers”, VISIONS OF ATLANTIS have set their creative sails higher than ever. “Wanderers” has everything: whether epic, romantic, mysterious, dark, powerful, emotional, intimate, passionate, exotic, melodic or poetic – these very good songs are always intriguing, where the deeply touching male-female vocal duets of Michele Guaitoli and Clémentine Delauney captivate.
Although the band is technically headquartered in Austria, the theme of the album would lead one to believe they were refugees of the lost city of Atlantis, setting foot on continental Europe for the first time. This is no accident; Atlantean thematic elements have been inlaid into the band’s look, sound, and lyrics since day one.
I never been a big fan of Visions Of Atlantis, but “Wanderers” is different.
Firstly, one of the most striking evolutions of this band is production and polish. Earlier albums were rough, not so for “Wanderers”. This album just feels clean, tight, and pleasing to the ears from beginning to end.
Here is one point which remains so far unclear with Visions of Atlantis: Who is the keyboardist? There have been full-time keyboardists in the band’s past, but none credited with this new record. If this was an album like Iron Maiden‘s Seventh Son, or Ozzy‘s Bark at the Moon, where we find occasional synth elements to complement a guitar rock ensemble, then it would be understandable if keyboards do not get a spotlight in music videos or onstage.
However, half of the sound of this album is symphonic synth keys.
The first track, the appropriate “Release My Symphony” is varied from metal riffing to strings sections, and even quiet moments showcasing some delicate Clémentine vocals. The next track, “Heroes of the Dawn,” is close to the new conventions of Euro power metal, that meaning melodic / commercial and accessible.
“Nothing Lasts Forever” serves as a well-executed bittersweet ballad built-for-two, then “Journey to Remember” is the straightforward power rocker and gives a representative sample of the band’s current sound.
The track “Silent Scream” is another good example of nice synth and keyboard arrangement tying together what would have been an unremarkable song otherwise. Quite a feat for a band with no keyboard player, all in all. “The Siren and the Sailor” experiments with some less-traveled chords and scales to take us on a fun (albeit doomed) voyage on the ancient seas.
The title track may actually be one of the more endearing on the record, a quiet little piece of piano and layered vocals by Clémentine. The lyrics are well-thought-out, and blessedly universal to almost any listener.
Visions Of Atlantis are moving in the right direction with “Wanderers”. They are clearly running with the big boys now, and we hope they continue to carry this momentum forward.
If you are looking for something new and respectable in symphonic prog-metal and plenty of accessible melodies, it would be hard to go wrong with this one.
01. Release My Symphony
02. Heroes of the Dawn
03. Nothing Lasts Forever
04. A Journey To Remember
05. A Life of our Own
06. To the Universe
07. Into the Light
08. The Silent Stream
09. The Siren & the Sailor
11. At the End of the World
12. Bring the Storm
13. In And Out of Love
Clémentine Delauney – Vocals (female)
Michele Guaitoli – Vocals (male)
Herbert Glos – Bass
Christian Douscha – Guitars
Thomas Caser – Drums